News and Upcoming Projects:
Karen Hines is shortlisted for the
20th Annual Siminovitch Prize in Theatre.
Five playwrights have been shortlisted for the 2020 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, the $100,000 Canadian theatre award that is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, writes Kelly Nestruck of the Globe & Mail. Other finalists are Carmen Aguirre, Tara Beagan, Martin Bellemare, and Annick Lefebvre.
CRAWLSPACE is now available as a CBC Podcast (PlayMe)
Live recordings of the POCHSY PLAYS (1992-2006) are being collected as mini podcast for the Canada Council’s Digital Originals series.
2 SHORT PLAY COMMISSIONS: SUMMER AND FALL 2020:
PLAYS2PERFORM@HOME – Summer 2020
15-minute play for Boca del Lupo. “Where does that blue come from? That Robin’s Egg Blue?” Boca’s response to online theatre. People at home stage and direct themselves. The plays are short. The theatre is live. Happening now.
THE STREAM YOU STEP IN – October 2020
20-minute play for University of Windsor that is one of four plays by playwrights for Zoom. Hines’s working title is Get Me the Fuck Out of This Zoom Play. More publicly, it is The River of Forgetfulness. (Mitchell Cushner directs The Stream; Griffin McInnis directs The River) October 2020.
ALL THE LITTLE ANIMALS I HAVE EATEN
A Nightwood Theatre Production in association with Crow’s Theatre. March 26 – April 14, 2020 at Streetcar Crowsnest (345 Carlaw Ave). Cancelled due to COVID-19
All the Little Animals I Have Eaten was to have its Toronto premiere on March 26, 2020, at Toronto’s Crow’s Theatre, in a production by Nightwood Theatre. Due to the pandemic, the show was pulled ten days before its first preview. Rain dates TBA
Keep frozen salutes all the artists who were set to go. The lights still hang in the air.
The Show Description from Nightwood’s website, 2020: A biting meditation on capitalism, consumption, precarity and hope in this latest dark comedy written and directed by Karen Hines. Set in the extraordinarily modern bistro of an all-women’s condominium, All the Little Animals I Have Eaten follows a tender-hearted young server on the most harrowing shift of her life.
From the Animals Press Release, Nightwood’s Artistic Director Andrea Donaldson:
“Karen Hines is a genius. She has the incredible power of pairing comedy, poetry and social commentary. In All the Little Animals I Have Eaten she continues to draw upon her fraught relationship with property, and a lifelong capitalist critique, and does so with decades- perfected satire, and inimitable charm. I am so honoured to have this Canadian legend premiering this timely work with us.“
Toronto Star 2020: on the then-upcoming Toronto premiere of All the Little Animals I Have Eaten:
“Hines is an inimitable creator in Canadian theatre, an incredibly visual writer with a singular sense of humour that’s insightful and twisted. Alarms should go off whenever she has a new work in town.”
– Toronto Star
“Karen Hines’ wild mind shines
– The Half Step
UPCOMING FOR LITTLE ANIMALS: TBA
JAMAIS LU: Tous les Petits Animaux que J’ai Dévoré: Translation by Mishka Lavigne
JAMAIS LU in Montreal.
Festival staged reading of Mishka Lavigne’s translation of All the Little Animals, Tous les Petits Animaux Que J’ai Dévorés.
- Upcoming: Winter/Spring Montreal, 2021.
POCHSY IV: Anagrams
A micro-theatrical play for audiences of 1 to 400.
Pochsy was invented in 1992 as a microcosm of North American consumer culture, or rather, its overriding and oppressive elements, and their tender cores. She is both victim and perpetrator of industrial poisoning. She works at Mercury Packers where she packs mercury – but now she is losing her job. Her name is an anagram for “psycho.” It is pronounced “poxy.”
- Late night sneak peeks scheduled (with hope!) at the High Performance Rodeo 2021.
- Public staged readings Summer 2021 at Debajehmujig Creation Centre.
- Banff Leighton Studios residency for Pochsy IV confirmed, 2020/2021 dates TBA.
“I’ll believe in you if you’ll believe in me,” she sang to God a decade ago. Now, Pochsy has lost her job at Mercury Packers. Where she packed mercury. Pochsy IV will feature Pochsy now, in a state of disintegration. Micro theatre. Private homes. Hazmat suits.
From Hines: Pochsy is devised as a mirror for our times, so Pochsy IV will reflect ‘this moment now.’ Since the first Pochsy show, I have lived a quarter of a century as an artist and a person and published tens of thousands of other words. The world has hurtled forward: environmentally, politically and technologically. We have Trump and oat milk creamer and in any given moment, both things may be equally on our minds. I need to bring “her” back.
Script is currently being built from the 6-minute film, My Name is Pochsy: An Industrial Film
THE COTTAGE, THE HORROR, THE HORROR
In progress, 2nd Draft complete. A commission for Vertigo Theatre Mainstage, New Dates TBA.
Magical realism collides with toxic nostalgia as a young child in the 1970’s is haunted by a young child from the 1950’s, both of whom seem to see the future of a young child in the 2020’s. Part psycho-thriller, part eco-horror, The Cottage borrows from cinematic high wire acts such as The Birds, as well as family psychodramas from Sophocles to O’Neill. Based on Hines’s own family (with permission) and a true 1971 summer when international climate expert visited us at The Cottage. Special effects will include robot zebra mussels; swarming fireflies; skittering deer mice and too-affectionate deer. The lake and the land are speaking.
LIME GREEN WOW FACTOR
In progress, 1st Draft and Staging Workshop complete: A commission for Verb Theatre Calgary with support from NAC’s Collaborations Project. Upcoming: TBA.
A Burtynsky-inspired immersive cabaret, Lime Green Wow Factor offers eleven monologues set inside bedrooms of the wealthy, at their fine coffee shop, in the gym, in a claw-foot tub. Only in this world, at this time, everything that’s coming to an end glows in the dark. Take-away cups blaze. Dishwasher beads look like small bright planets. This play is inspired by the Dark Mountain Manifesto, which promises “a beautiful uncivilization.” Decoupling is a big thing in this world – the process whereby nature and economic gain are separated. It’s law and everyone’s freaking, experiencing the death of takeaway as though it were their own dying. But as they submit, a tender, vivid place at their core literally glows from within; tendrils of bright green plant life creep up from inside their bodies. Out their mouths their ears, glowing lime green. The monstrous will be the new normal. The new normal will be beautiful.
Crawlspace is being adapted as a feature film with Telefilm Canada
From the micro theatre to the big screen, Crawlspace the Movie is in progress now. “Savagely funny.” (NOW Magazine)
KEEPING FROZEN IN THE COMPANY DRAWER:
Fifty Monkeys Maybe
In progress, with funding from Canada Council.
A psychological thriller about a writer, a dramaturg and the critic who drives them apart. Performed in ‘faux verbatim,’ this is a 1970’s period piece about a previous theatre.
Anagram for Psycho
(33 Short Films About Pochsy)
33 MICROFILMS Written and Directed by Karen Hines and Sandi Somers.
Adapted from ‘The Pochsy Plays,’ an award-winning theatrical trilogy, and evolving from the prize-winning shorts ‘My Name is Pochsy: A Industrial Film,’ and ‘A Tax on Pochsy (a.k.a. The Audit),’ the last in this series, ‘Anagram for Psycho (33 Short Films About Pochsy)’ will make up the third in a lustrously designer set.
This 33-minute ode to a century of industrial propaganda and corporate mission statements is both a scathing satire and and a tragi-documentary of a day in the life of doomed mercury plant worker, Pochsy. The comedy is black, the horror is terrifying, but the outfits are adorable.